I think it’s safe to say that our team can be a little random at times. Whether it’s making a spontaneous Kroger trip, voicing some of our most outlandish ideas, or making comical memes of each other, each of our random activities typically turns out to give us all a good laugh. Just a few weeks ago, however, one of those random little thoughts that I had, really got me thinking.
“What if our lake could talk?”
After finally understanding the depth of this random question, I first approached my response statistically. The Indiana FFA Leadership Center was established in 1968. Since then, we estimate that over 100,000 FFA members alone have traveled through its gates. Members from across the state and even the nation, sharing their culture, their passions, and their stories on the shores of this lake. In 1976 the first Indiana FFA State Officer Team moved into the FFA Center, with 40 teams and counting since then. That means 280 officers have rehearsed thousands of speeches and hundreds of workshops to this lake that is always willing to listen.
National FFA Officers have shared their retiring addresses with our lake before delivering it for the final time to thousands of FFA members from across the country, and I am sure that a first year FFA member has also shared the very first speech of their FFA career with the same lake.
If our lake could talk, it would describe the love in the air as couples presented their wedding vows. Our lake would hold a moment of silence for the thousands of times FFA members rose Ole Glory proudly over her on a foggy spring morning. If our lake could talk, it would describe the laughter after a canoe full of boy scouts flipped, or when my teammate Emily belly flopped off the slide.
Over the past eight months, my teammates and I have had the honor of living in a home that overlooks our beautiful lake. Whether it was watching fireworks on the dam, swimming in mid-September, or watching the steam rise up early each morning, the lake here at the Indiana FFA Center has set the foundation for many of our most cherished memories. As we embark on the final few months of our year, I am sure that it will continue to be the foundation for more.
So, if our lake could listen, I would say thank you. Thank you for love and laughter that you have brought so many over the years. Thank you for setting the scene that has drawn so many into our gates. But most of all, thank you for standing with us through the joy of our first arrival, and what will soon be the tears of our final goodbye.